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Career Advice

(OP)
Hopefully I can get some direction from this group. I am currently attempting to get level III's for everything that I was qualified for in the USAF. I have MT, ET, IR, and VT left to get. I am also enrolled in college for an Engineering degree. I wanted to know if its worth my time to get into NDE/NDT Principle engineer career path or should I focus on one method like UT and stick with only one and forego the degree.

Bit of background:
I get bored really easily. I learn very fast and when I feel comfortable with a job I usually move on to something else that interests me. I am not sure why this is but I found that in NDE/NDT having multiple methods helps me negate switching jobs if I can have multiple methods at my disposal. I was told in a job interview that my experience was too broad and not focused enough to fill a specialist's position. I was also told that I am hard to place because of my broad experience, Advanced composites of F-22 to now Nuclear inspection. I have done IR, MT, PT, UT, RT, VT, AES, PAUT, Rotoscan(Bubbler), Surface Acoustic Wave fluid analysis, Advanced application ET, etc. etc.

So I am seeking some career advice. I love the science and application of NDE/NDT but I feel like its a slow death focusing in on just one method. Thanks in advance for any advice.

RE: Career Advice

I believe you should pursue multiple Level III certificates. My former employer (EPC firm) was quite grateful that I did. All of the NDE service providers that my various employers contracted with had Examiners having multiple Level III certs.

I would advise you to continue pursuing your Engineering degree. It will provide greater job flexibility in the future.

RE: Career Advice

If you bore easily, QC may not be the best career choice in a general sense, since the methods used are often prescribed by sanctioning bodies or standardized by your employer.
That said, if you can claw your way up a little in the bureaucracy, you may find some latitude in doing the prescribing instead of just executing the procedures. You will still be hamstrung by rules, but at a different level.

I knew a guy who spent most of three years writing the tree of rules that linked detailed job descriptions all the way up and back to the company mission statement, for the purpose of getting ISO accreditation for the company. He was a nice guy, but he was basically telling everyone how to do their job, so he was the butt of much resentment. I'd want combat pay for that job.




Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Career Advice

Get your degree in materials or metallurgy or welding and you should be a pretty valuable "welding engineer" in the right place.

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